Two ways to check GMail more often

Anyone who uses GMail for multiple POP3 accounts knows this: you cannot adjust the frequency of email retrieval.

The default interval is one hour. Depending on how often your account gets sent emails, you could end up waiting for an hour for new emails to arrive.

The quick fix: How do I check GMail more often?

If you want to force GMail to check your email accounts more frequently, one easy way would be hit the Refresh icon. Now, hitting the refresh all day long. Sound like something you want to do all day long? Not me.

This problem of not being able to automatically check GMail more often has obviously hit a lot of users out there, and here are two ways you could overcome it.

Daniel Slaughter’s GMail POP3 Checker

Install this Greasemonkey script on your preferred Greasemonkey-compatible browser, set the mail check interval you prefer and away you go! The script will check GMail more often, according to the interval you like – the default is 8 minutes.

The good thing about this? It will automatically check all of the POP3 accounts on GMail.

Downside: you have to run the script from your computer, which means you need it to be running constantly.

IFTTT (IF This Then That)

IFTTT provides new ways of harnessing the power of the internet and making it work for you. This handy IFTTT Gmail check recipe sends an email to your POP3 account every hour, reminding GMail that your account receives mails frequently and should be checked more often.  Add four instances of this recipe on your IFTTT, and you’ll have automated emails sent every 15 minutes. (These emails should be automatically filtered and deleted by the way.)

The good thing about this? No local script installs are required. Set it up once, and this will work.

Downside: you’re not actually setting regular interval checks, but rather making GMail recognise that you receive emails often enough to warrant frequent mail downloads. Manipulating the algorithm, so to speak.

Downside #2: you have to set this up for every POP3 account you want frequently checked.

Give these two methods a try, see if it helps you to check GMail more often. If you liked this post, leave a comment! Or better, share the love with other frustrated GMail users.


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Lens-less: Balling without glasses or contacts

Contact lens
Contact lens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d been using disposable contacts for basketball since years ago. In an effort to preserve my dwindling funds, I started an experiment in saving money on contact lenses. Simply put, I would play without any form of optical aid – just good old myopia and blurry vision.

Surprisingly, the lack of clarity did not affect my game as much as I thought it would.


Perhaps it boils down to trusting your body and instincts after so many years of experience, but shooting is more muscle memory than anything else. Your body already knows what to do. Set yourself up the same way every time, square up for the release, and keep the followthrough soft. Leave everything else to physics.

Court vision

Recognising teammates wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be. I could still see everyone moving around, and pass the ball if I had to. People are just people, although not being able to see their facial expressions made reading readiness just that bit more difficult. A lot more difficult, actually.


The most surprising change came in this area. Perhaps the lack of details allowed my mind to focus better without distraction, but I got into attack mode a lot easier without contacts. Trusted my instincts and body to work as they should, and just went with the flow without overthinking the game.

I also began to pass on the pick and roll better as well – what the hell? I’d been trying to remind myself to do hit the roll man more often without much success, and the answer came in the form of not wearing contact lenses. Strange, but whatever works.

I’m sure there will be a downside to this harebrained idea eventually, but for now? It rocks. Play better and save dough, what gives?

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Update Infinitec Pocket TV firmware to version 4.0 ICS

So, I had a second try at trying to rescucitate something that had been gathering dust. It was time to to update my Infinitec Pocket TV firmware, one that would hopefully cure the initial bout of disappointment with the performance.

The first try: updating the Infinitec Pocket TV firmware

Up came the speed bump: I couldn’t complete my Infinitec Pocket TV firmware update successfully with the suggested method from the Infinitec forum, which was through Settings – About Pocket TV – System Update.

An error came up, and I got this pretty picture on my TV.

Infinitec Pocket TV update error message

E: Bad bootloader arguments “null”

Finding update package…

Opening update package…

Verifying update package…

E:signature verification failed

Installation aborted.

what. the heck. I didn’t have a spare SD card handy to download it elsewhere either.

Getting advice from the source

Next order of business: sent an email over to Infinitec for advice, and Derek G from the support team had this to say:

This is discussed in the forum quite a bit.  The old updater has bugs that make it not work about 70% of the time.  The best solution has been to use an sd-card.

However, you can download the OTA ZIP directly to the device’s internal storage.  Then, open the “Upgrader” app from the app drawer.  Select the downloaded ZIP and try to flash it. Sometimes, users get lucky after a few attempts.

Executing the Infinitec Pocket TV firmware update successfully

I’ll break his suggestion down into steps, to make it easier to follow.

  1. Download the 200MB  Infinitec Pocket TV firmware update using the Browser app on your Pocket TV:
  2. The file will be stored in /mnt/sdcard/Download. To make the Upgrade app locate the install file, you need to move it to the root directory, which is /mnt/sdcard/. I used the FileBrowser app to cut and paste it into the right path.
  3. Use the Upgrade app in the app drawer. You go to the app drawer by clicking on the icon on the top right corner of the home screen.
  4. Select Local upgrade
  5. Select the .zip
  6. The Infinitec Pocket TV firmware will be ready to reboot and install the .zip update. Let ‘er rip!
  7. SUCCESS! Update complete.

Response feels better now, thanks to Derek for the tip. More comments to come as I test it out.

A season gone in green.

Celtics Down Under logo

It’s been a full season since I started Celtics Down Under back in September 2012. While it hasn’t exactly been a raving success, I’m happy that it’s slowly blossomed into a community for Aussie Celtics.

As of today:

Not exactly the Larry O’Brien trophy of milestones, nonetheless encouraging. Encouraging, because I got to know many other Australian Celtic fans along the way, who in turn have come to know of many other fellow fans. All of us cheered, ranted, laughed and screamed together in the past months, watching our favourite team struggle its way into the postseason, and ultimately run out of gas. Not the best of endings, but it could have been worse. We went out with grit, and did not surrender.

It really feels great, knowing that none of this would have happened, had I not made the impulsive decision to register and create something from nothing.

Thanks to everyone in the community, especially folks like Justin, Hayley, Tommy, big Kaine, Michael, Nate, Olly, Joel and so on. I’m looking forward to many more great seasons together. Bleed green folks.


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Prejudice and acceptance.

Hold Hands

The world would be a much better place if we learned to look past our differences, and find the things that speak a common language deep inside. Be it love, humour, passion, creativity or something else altogether, all it takes is the first step – a willingness to try.

Less prejudice, more acceptance. We are who we are, and learning to agree with others is one simple, yet powerful step in fostering peace in this little world of ours.

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Using multiple Google accounts on one Google Calendar

Many people have multiple Google accounts out of necessity, the most obvious point being the fantastic functionality GMail offers. Why wouldn’t you want to have your work and personal email accounts hosted on GMail? How about taking it a step further, and accessing both email addresses from a single GMail interface? Having one platform to control all your accounts is the next logical step to convenience after all.

The snag about an arrangement like this though, comes when you respond to calendar invites. You will notice that you are not signed in to the correct account, and cannot respond. How do we work around this?

Sign in to both accounts at the same time
Click on your profile at the top right corner and select the option: Add account. This feature allows you to sign in to both Google accounts at the same time, which would allow you to respond to the invite properly.

There is a neater way though.

Giving management rights to your Google Calendar
Simply assign the appropriate privileges for your Google Calendar to the other email account.

Click on the Gears icon and go to Settings, go to Calendars, click on Shared: Edit Settings for the appropriate calendar. Under the section Share with specific people, type your other email address, allow See all event details, and Add Person.

That’s it, you’re done.

Sidenote: if you cannot assign the privilege you desire, it is likely due to the domain settings in your Google Apps page. Change the Calendar setting accordingly, and you are set.

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Iron Man 3: More man than armour.

Even though the Mandarin turned out to be some crocked up stage actor in the final episode of the Tony Stark trilogy, I quite enjoyed the ride. Marvel has consistently done an excellent job on the Iron Man movie franchise, and this movie is no exception.

What I really liked about the film was the fact that there was less glitzy visuals on the invincible armoured flying suits, and a sizeable chunk of screen time devoted to the man behind the suit. The Iron Man suits are shown to have their flaws, and are torn apart one after another in the closing segment.

This movie also did a good job on telling a story about relationships; about cause and effect, and the fragility of Stark. Whilst everyone sees him as being invincible behind the suit, the man is haunted, sleepless and suffering. That being said, the movie did not push the emotions too hard. After all, we are watching Iron Man.

Spoiler upcoming, so stop here if you have not watched the flick.

Stark has his shrapnel fragments removed from his body in the end, the arc reactor gets removed and ends up being tossed into the ocean.

Is this the end of Iron Man? Not really. I’m pretty sure Iron Man Extremis is coming right up in the next Iron Man movie. In the meantime, the trilogy closes with Stark as himself, and Iron Man out of the picture. The ending sequence (post-credits) with Bruce Banner acting as resident shrink though, that was a little awkward. It reminds me of the shawarma clip after the Avengers movie heh.